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Will Samaritan tech demo spawn a game?

It's possible, but not "currently" happening.

It is possible that Epic's impressive Samaritan Unreal Engine 3 tech demo, showcased at the Game Developers Conference last week and designed to offer a glimpse at what next-generation visuals may look like, will spawn an actual game.

But there are no plans to do so, co-founder and vice president Mark Rein told 1UP.

"I'm not going to deny that that's possible, but at the same time, if we hadn't had built that technology demo, then we wouldn't have been able to build Gears of War," Rein said.

"It's like, once we build a technology demo and learn how to do things a certain way, it then enables us to do more of that. So I don't want to deny that such a scenario is possible, but it's not currently [happening].

"Remember we built a demo many years before that which was a 'high end Unreal Engine 2 demo' where we had a character rip the arm off another character and beat him with it? That content ended up appearing as some sort of extra free content for Unreal Tournament, but it wasn't an actual game we were building at the time."

Rein said Epic, which played an important role in the development of the Xbox 360 console, has had meetings with unspecified first-parties to show them the Samaritan tech demo, below.

"I mean, at some point in time, they're going to build new hardware," he said. "It's as simple as that - that's just the way things work.

"So I think it's good for them to have things like this to show what the software developers are ready to produce. If you give us a piece of hardware that lets us do this effect and that effect and this other effect, we'll show you that the technology is here to do that now. I actually think that's really important.

"We pushed Microsoft that way with Gears of War - I don't know if you remember the infamous story of the 256 megabyte versus 512 megabyte screenshot that we sent them. We basically created a set of screenshots to show Gears of War on two different hardware specs, and luckily, they went for the better one. So I think it is important to show them that your money is not going to be wasted if you put this kind of hardware together."

Rein reckons people will look at the Samaritan video and think, "oh yeah; that's worth getting a new piece of hardware for. I'm going to spend the 300 or 400 dollars for this because I can really see how much better this is on the screen".